James Cameron's The Terminator is arguably one of the most influential films in American cinema. The picture was a great genre-bender and gave Arnold Schwarzenegger his most iconic role. However, there is a lot about this classic 1984 film that you may not be familiar with. So in honor of the release of Terminator: Genisys, here are some fun facts about everyone's favorite cyborg.
6. The Terminator was a Dream
Many great horror stories such as Mary Shelley's Frankenstein or Robert Louis Stevenson's Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde were inspired by a dream the author had. The Terminator is similar in this aspect. One night when Mr. Cameron was in Rome releasing his first film, he started feeling ill and went to bed only to be attacked by this gruesome image.
The Terminator endo-skeleton was actually coming at Cameron with knives instead of guns but you get the picture. Since horror films were very popular at the time, he thought that this idea would make a great platform for his next picture.
5. The Terminator is supposedly a rip-off
While writing the script, James Cameron drew inspiration from several sources such as classic sci-fi pics from the 50's, The Road Warrior, and The Outer Limits. In fact, Harlem Ellison-a guy who has written for just about everything-claims that The Terminator essentially was based on The Outer Limits episode, Soldier, which he wrote.
The plot to Soldier does sound familiar as it is about two beings from different sides of a war that have traveled back in time to the late 20th century. However, details such as the fact that they are both human, their time travel was accidental, and that there is little to no action stops it from possibly being the original Terminator.
4. The Terminator had the Weirdest Pitch
In order to finance The Terminator, Cameron had to pitch the idea to John Daly at Hemdale Pictures. Of course, James Cameron can't just talk to them-he has to scare the living crap out of these people to finance his horror picture. He got Lance Henrikson-who would play Bishop in Aliens-to arrive early at the meeting dressed up and acting like The Terminator. He even made a grand entrance by kicking down the door. Cameron eventually came in and explained how it was all an act which relieved the staff.
3. The Biblical Allusions
The Terminator is a very violent film with a rather racy sex scene. So to connect it with Christianity, seems rather odd and out-of-place. But surprisingly there are quite a few allusions to the Bible and Biblical terms in all of the Terminator movies. You can't just see them in the titles (Terminator 2: Judgement Day, Terminator: Salvation, Terminator: Genisys) but also in the central point of the entire franchise: John Connor. He is the savior to mankind born from a young woman with a mysterious father that no one knows. Not to mention, John shares the same initials as the Son of God too. More than a coincidence if you ask me.
2. The Original Cast was going to be very different
Arnold was at first going to be Kyle Reese-John Connor's father- but that would mean they would need to find someone even bigger than him to play the Terminator so that the latter would come off as intimidating. So who does the Studio pick?
O.J. Simpson. Oh but it get even better. Cameron didn't want the ex-football jock to play the titular role thinking that he wouldn't be believable as a killer. I am not even making this up.
1. The Terminator Franchise was sold for 1$
The Terminator franchise is a money making machine. Even the lesser entries in the series have grossed over 200 million dollars. But would you believe me when I say that James Cameron sold the film rights for one dollar? When he was making the first film, Mr. Cameron didn't have a cent to his name. So selling the rights to his producer to ensure that he would direct the picture was a good idea at the time and a very smart move.
What did you think of the list? Did you find something you didn't know? Share other strange facts about The Terminator that I might have missed.